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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Claiming $500K tax break after spouse dies

DEAR BENNY: My husband died this past August. We owned and lived in our house for more than 15 years, but now I want to sell. Am I eligible for the up-to-$500,000 exclusion of any profit that I will make? --Annie

December 23, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Bathroom remodeling ideas: From small to total overhaul that can save money

Ready to give your bathroom a facelift, but can't decide what changes to make? From tubs to toilets to tile, the sky is the limit when it comes to bathroom renovations, even if budget is not.

December 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Down payment assistance available to buyers of new homes to cover school fees

The California Housing Finance Agency is now offering the Schools Facility Fee Down Payment Assistance program to qualified buyers of newly constructed homes. With home prices and mortgage interest rates already near all-time lows, the down payment assistance increases the affordability of new homes even more for qualified buyers.

December 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Wells Fargo to help area customers facing mortgage payment challenges

STOCKTON - Wells Fargo & Company is hosting a free Home Preservation Workshop in Stockton for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Wells Fargo Financial, Wachovia Mortgage and Wells Fargo Home Equity customers facing financial hardships.

December 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Sellers have recourse when buyers back out

DEAR BENNY: We recently had a contract to sell our home to a "cash" buyer. He and his wife were allegedly inheriting a large sum of money, and their Realtor confirmed that she had seen the bank account statement confirming a "vast sum of money," reportedly well in excess of our contract price.

December 16, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Installing gas fireplaces

A gas fireplace can add ambiance and warmth to any room, and with the cold weather, you might be dreaming of adding one in your home. Because purchasing a fireplace is not something we do every day, there are some important things to consider.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Help protect your home from rodents this winter

The cold temperatures are settling in for the winter months, and if you're not careful, rodents can also settle into your home. Your house - especially your kitchen - offers everything rats and mice are looking for: food, water and warmth.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Save money with energy efficiency tips

Saving money is on everyone's mind this winter season. Between the holiday expenses, colder temperatures and tight budgets, finding ways to reduce costs can be a bit of a challenge. If you're looking for ways to save, look at your home, and see if you can improve on your energy efficiency - thereby keeping a few extra dollars in your pocket.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Easy ways to warm up your home decor

As the chill of winter sets in, your home interior may be lacking the warmth and comfort you'd prefer. Fortunately, creating an inviting atmosphere does not require huge amounts of time or money. And you don't need to be a professional interior designer - or even have experience in decorating - to transform your home into a welcoming haven. To bring your decor into the season and give your home noticeable appeal, follow a few easy tips.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Smart ways to use credit when redecorating

When your redecorating project is done, you want everyone who sees it to think it looks like a million bucks. But woe to your wallet - and possibly your credit - if you overspend to achieve that look.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


More affordable to buy in SJ Valley

The Northern San Joaquin Valley was flying high five years ago.

December 09, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Sidestep penalty for early mortgage payoff

DEAR BENNY: I was at the closing table for my condo purchase only to discover that there was a penalty for early payoff. I called the bank immediately and they told me to "take it or leave it."

December 09, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Top home decor trends for 2012

From warm woods and creative colors to memorable murals and tailored textures, interior designers and industry experts predict 2012 will offer a multitude of options for those interested in giving their homes a fresh look. Even better for today's cost-conscious consumers is that many of the trends are easy and inexpensive.

December 09, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Winter: Time to plan outdoor updates

Does the bitter cold weather have you dreaming of warm days spending time with friends and family in your backyard? The cold may keep us indoors, but professionals in the landscape and remodeling industry are still thinking about the outdoors and use the winter months to plan spring projects, and so should you.

December 09, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Greet holiday guests with a warm, stylish, sensible home

Twinkling lights, fragrant wreaths and freshly baked cookies help set the stage, but holiday guests truly feel at home when you provide a warm, cozy environment.

November 18, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


ON THE WATER

You don't have to buy in Stockton's Quail Lakes or Brookside neighborhoods if you want to live on the water.

September 12, 2014 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Simple, affordable ways to personalize home decor

Every generation of homeowners has its design priorities. Baby boomers look for home design that will let them age in place, while generation X wants features that facilitate busy lifestyles. Millennials crave interior decor that meshes with their technology, blending energy efficiency, family-friendly features and plenty of personalization. Since many millennials are starting out in their personal and professional lives, affordability is also a priority.

September 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Save money, time and energy making improvements in tandem

Most of us spend our day multi-tasking. At work or home, we want to maximize our time and resources in order to accomplish the most work while expending the minimum required effort. Home improvement should be no different. In order to make the most of your home improvement resources, it makes sense to undertake certain projects in tandem.

September 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Early season gardening tricks to help garden grow faster

Warm weather begs green thumbs across the country to break out their gardening gloves and till the soil for the season's plantings. Whether this is your first year tending a home garden or it's something you've been doing for decades, gardening offers many rewards, including time spent outdoors, the ability to feel closer to Mother Nature, and of course, the fresh fare plucked just steps from your kitchen.

September 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Upgrades that scream ‘luxury’ with less expensive price tags

Hand-planed, reclaimed hardwood floors? Beautiful but pricey. Custom drapery? The cost can be blinding. When it comes to home decorating, it's easy to blow your budget on one or two upgrades - and maybe that would be OK if those improvements also amped up the drama in your decor. Too often, however, costly decorating ploys disappoint, wearing out or becoming dated before you've paid off the financing.

September 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Supply crunch sends California existing home sales drop to 4-year August low

IRVINE (AP) - The number of homes sold in California fell to the lowest level for an August in four years as a supply crunch pushed prices higher and kept homes out of reach for many buyers, a real estate research company reported Thursday.

September 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


COMPLETE PACKAGE

River Islands at Lathrop - situated to become the most high-profile community development in the 209 for the next 20 years - is marking its grand opening today.

September 05, 2014 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Simple home updates are environmentally friendly

Green living not only helps the environment, it helps your pocketbook. When making upgrades to your home - whether it's replacing a light bulb or a total living room makeover - incorporate energy-efficient and repurposed materials to make your living space more environmentally friendly.

September 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Modern man cave musts for you to keep in mind

Whether in a workshop, garden or garage, American men have always enjoyed their personal spaces. With the rise of flat-screen technology, having a "man cave" became an official home improvement trend. In fact, a 2013 survey by online retailer Newegg found that more than half of American homes now have a man cave. Now, after more than a decade of partying, man caves have matured.

September 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Celebrate fall patio season via elegant outdoor updates

Fall patio season is upon us, which means hosting family and friends for warm-weather gatherings and barbecues. Don't fret; outdoor events don't have to break the bank. With just a bit of creative vision and DIY savvy, you'll have an al fresco affair to remember in no time at all.

September 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Upgrades that scream ‘luxury’ are cheaper-than-you-think

Hand-planed, reclaimed hardwood floors? Beautiful but pricey. Custom drapery? The cost can be blinding. When it comes to home decorating, it's easy to blow your budget on one or two upgrades - and maybe that would be OK if those improvements also amped up the drama in your decor. Too often, however, costly decorating ploys disappoint, wearing out or becoming dated before you've paid off the financing.

September 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Plenty of light! Feds selling off lighthouses

YORK, Maine (AP) - Lighthouses for sale! Actually, lots of lighthouses for free.

September 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average 30-year mortgage rate steady

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average 30-year U.S. mortgage rate this week remained at a 52-week low of 4.10 percent for the third straight week.

September 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


BUYING FOR ONE

Here's a trend that might catch you off-guard: Upwards of one in six new homebuyers in Manteca are single.

August 29, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Do’s & don’ts for making your tile project perfect

When you add a tile or natural stone surface to the kitchen or bathroom, it transforms each space with a fresh, clean and customized look. Many homeowners often dream about adding a backsplash or replacing a floor, but never complete the project because they can't decide on the right look, become mentally exhausted by the thought of doing the project or don't know how to accomplish it themselves.

August 29, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


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